Otago Daily Times
‘‘Jane Shriffer and John Oxborough’’
(Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka)
peek from the confines of their threedimensional framed boxes, as if paintings have come to life, pulling away from their canvas and preparing to fly. Equally remarkable are the luminous colours of Christine Cathie’s cast glass ribbons, curling and twirling sinuously into the air, seeming to defy gravity and the complexities of the glass medium, wiggling and squiggling as if an invisible hand is drawing with a giant sparkler.
THERE is something so utterly effervescent and joyful about Jane Shriffer’s work that it draws the viewer in like a magnet. With highly textural blocks and pats of colour, the hand of the artist is very evident; unlike a more representational work, the star of the show in both the current exhibits at Gallery Thirty Three is the paint and the process of painting itself. With pieces such as Shriffer’s Just One More Minute, every fast stroke of the palette knife tells the story of a mind becoming immersed in the story on the canvas, a hand working quickly to keep up, fighting against the clock and external interruptions.
Chip to the Dip is just one example of Shriffer’s superlative use of colour — cool blues and greens, like damp earth and lush foliage, meet oranges and reds and one intriguing dab of purple, and the result is not a clash, but rather a harmonious flurry, like being out in a beautiful landscape in the rain and mist, when the skyline starts to blur together and leaves are tossed in the wind. The ultimate feeling is one of happiness rather than chaos.
Completing the study in abstraction are John Oxborough’s fascinating experiments with colour and the topography of the land and the mind. His blocks of paint blur and bleed into one another, drip down and trail away, shapes coming together vaguely and contemplatively, the way emotions and instinctive responses to a sight or event might cluster with fragments of memory to form a composite image.